Unusual project is being built on 60 West Cordova. It comes without parking spaces, with minimal marketing and with requirement of self-maintenance by the future inhabitants. The goal is clear – to construct condominium affordable for a couple working for minimum wage.
Developer Ian Gillespie situated the 108-unit development, designed by architect Gregory Henriquez, on the border of Gastown and the Downtown, on the neighbouring block to his Woodward’s complex, project that combines condos, social housing and art centre. Lack of parking should both drive down the costs (single downtown parking space costs around $40,000) and keep wealthier households' interest off.
Habitat for Humanity, which collaborates on the project (along with Vancity credit union and a Downtown Eastside housing group), will choose the 4 suitable families from those applying; another 8 units goes to local community workers. The rest of 96 units will be sold to buyers, who will have to prove their commitment not only to personally occupy the purchased condo, but also to maintain the property regularly.
Majority of the condominiums will be offered for less than $300,000 and most of these will be affordable to couples on minimum wage. However, this project is not without opposition. Its opponents believe that despite the goal, the project will bring property price increase and even gentrification to the area.